New Wired video teaches you to juggle

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/09/10/new-wired-video-teaches-you-to.html

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Video link for the BBS


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9NdhxGxzD4
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This is the way Cheezo the :clown_face: taught me back in the late 70s at an art festival; I have successfully taught others using this method since then. :slight_smile:

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I learned to ride the unicycle when I was about 12 years old, took me about a week of summer vacation. I’d say it’s easier than learning juggling but I think they are very different. Learning to ride the unicycle reminded me of learning to ride a bike (and everyone learns that), for me that meant propelling myself forward with my arms wildly swinging like some kind of gyroscope move, but in retrospect that was nuts-- I think you could also learn by just trying to stay balanced and not move hardly at all (and probably do less damage to both your body and the unicycle.)

I had no outside input on how to ride the unicycle. I also didn’t have any outside input on how to juggle and failed over and over, and still can’t do it well – even the first minute of his video I find helpful.

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Back in the 1980s, juggling, unicycles, devil sticks, and yo-yos had a moment. You could buy these “learn to juggle” kits everywhere that started you with scarves, then moved on to the two-balls-one-hand method shown later in that video. Starting with scarves always struck me as clever, because the technique is the same but everything happens in slow motion. I never learned myself but a couple of my friends did have success with those kits. One friend went on to unicycle and devil sticks as well. We both got into yo-yos and it’s funny how those skills stick with you. Someone had one at work the other day, and I busted out double Around The World, Loop The Loop and Rock The Baby like I was 15 again, :joy:. My hands got sore quickly, though. There’s no substitute for youth for the physical parts of these skills.

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Took on club juggling as my lock down hobby. The key for me was five minutes a day, every day. Consistency is very powerful and I had it down within a week. Been working on various tricks and recently moved up to lit torches. It’s been a wonderful stress reliever.

This is the book that taught me how to juggle in the 80’s. the hardest part for a newbie is keeping the balls in a single plane out in front of your body. Practicing against a wall is a great way to teach your body to make consistent throws.

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I’ve been wanting to get another set of clubs to work on my fucked up shoulders. Haven’t done them in years. Rode unicycle briefly in the late 70’s and roller skates in the '80’s but I am (after numerous accidents) not meant to ride on less than 4 wheels and most certainly should never be allowed to steer anything (including committees and conversations). I still have balls (yeah, yeah, ha ha) and muck about with them from time to time - but most of my juggling these days is confined to impressing small children at family gatherings . . . which means, these days those youngsters are still just as unimpressed as they ever were.

Two things I’ve tried to learn more than once and have failed at: unicycling and juggling.

SAME. I tried to use the pandemic as an excuse to try again … and failed again.

For what it is worth, be careful what you wish for:

I had a professional clown friend who refused to juggle more than 3 balls because he said no matter how many you juggled someone always asked “can you do X + 1” and he got sick of them not really appreciating how difficult anything more than 4 balls is.

I learned from the same book! Good times at the Juggling Club at my high school.

I’ve taught about 100 people to juggle (and hung out with Jack many times). It’s not going to help much in the COVID era, but I want to say nonetheless, it’s much easier to learn if a competent juggler is watching you and can diagnose. It took me about two weeks to learn on my own, whereas I usually get people to six catches (the Guinness definition) in less than an hour. Occasionally less than ten minutes.
Moral: when clubs are meeting again, look for a local club, and ask someone to teach you. We’re friendly and ready to proselytize!
I may as well stick this here:

Good video, this is exactly how I taught myself back in 8th grade (from a book I read). The key is really learning how to throw with just one ball, then learning how to cross with two. Once you’ve got that down, adding the third is much easier.

Good luck all!

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